Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team


Sue Phillips

Managing Director

Sue is SDDirect’s Founder and so has been part of the organisation since our launch in 1999. She has seen SDDirect grow from an initial idea developed by a small group of professional colleagues into a leading and international provider of social development research and consultancy. Sue’s passion has always been to challenge conventional development policy and practice and to bring inclusion, equality and people’s voices into the heart of development assistance. This enduring passion and perspective has been central to SDDirect’s success. Sue’s current role as our Managing Director is focused on leading the organization to ensure that we stay connected to global trends and remain issues driven, relevant and genuinely adding value as a UK-based organisation in a fast changing world.

Sue has accrued 30 years experience as a social development specialist and urban planner in the UK and internationally. Before founding SDDirect in 1999, Sue previously worked as a Social Development Adviser for the UK Department of International Development in India and the UK Overseas Territories and for a number of UK based consultancy companies on long term assignments in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Jordan. Sue has worked across a range of policy areas, analysing the intersections between poverty, inequality and exclusion, with a particular interest in gender inequality. Sue started her career as an urban planner working on social and environmental impact assessments of major infrastructure programmes in the UK.

Sue is actively engaged in the movement to raise awareness and action on climate change.